SRA Board Meeting Minutes
2007 February 20

Summary of talk given by Alan J. Hyatt, our first speaker, February 20, 2007. (This was recorded for re-broadcast by WRYR.)  Hyatt, Chairman and President of Severn Savings Bank, described the living roof the Bank’s new West Street building features, his dedication to Corporate responsibility and his concern that business and community organizations come together to forge a basis for development that protects the ecological assets that support human life.

He discussed reconciling the interests of stockholders and community. A $200,000 investment in their living roof contributes both to community welfare, and to enhancing the reputation of the bank for benefit to its stockholders. For each new account, the bank contributes to Chesapeake Bay Foundation.  Hyatt favors growth, “People who live here often feel others shouldn’t come. But it’s not possible to stop growth. We’d have stagnation. But we haven’t handled it well. We need to change the rigid codes to allow more flexibility, especially regarding density. Design can drive density. We need more Smart Growth, which leaves the majority of a site undeveloped and clusters the uses. We need to put growth where the infrastructure is and avoid sprawl. We need friendly meetings between citizens, developers and government to make good development occur. The Adequacy of Public Facilities rule needs to be re-examined. We need money for more efficient buses. Shared parking is important. We lost 40 parking spaces putting the living roof on top of the parking facility. We made an agreement with Maryland Hall to share their open parking in the day, and allow Maryland Hall to use their empty spaces in the evening. But citizens objected, concerned about more traffic through their neighborhoods. You can’t make progress that way.”

Questioners asked the Bank to examine policies for lending  to builders, to invest only in well-planned, well-placed development suitable to a community and its environmental priorities. Hyatt agreed to examine such a possibility.  He also agreed to visit South County to examine properties proposed for development, especially those funded by Severn Savings' loans. He agreed that a framework for future business-environmental action on issues of concern has potential, and that he will report back to SRA on deliberations at the bank.


 

(Revised March 2007)